Droughts Drive High Beef Prices

Where’s the beef? Midwestern farmers forecast more upheaval in cattle industry

Shopping for steaks to use at your next summer cookout? Be prepared for a shock. 

Beef prices are at an all time high due to droughts and dwindling herds. Due to the water scarcity, it has become increasingly expensive for farmers to feed their cattle.  This is causing many ranchers to take large quantities of their livestock to slaughter in a process known as liquidation.  

One Colorado distributor says the price on their beef has gone up at least a dollar per pound in the last 3 weeks.  And prices that are already at an all time high are likely to stay on the rise.   

The drought plaguing the midwest’s key cattle states first began over a year ago. Unpredictable natural influences, including wildfire and now invasive weeds, have cast shadows over the great plains, making many farmers’ acreage unfit for grazing. 

Farmers speculate that due to the current rate of liquidation of cattle, stock is expected to remain low, and prices high, for the next two to three years.


What does this mean for your barbecue plans?  Many consumers who don’t want to shell out for steaks are already turning to pork, a cheaper grilling alternative. If pork or poultry doesn’t appeal to you, this might just be the summer to finally go vegetarian.